Originality within the sphere of a creature, and in reference to a finite intelligence, consists in the power of interpretation. In its last analysis it is exegesis—the pure, genial and accurate exposition of an idea or truth already existing, already communicated, already possessed.
There has been no creation, but only a development; no absolute authorship, but only an explication. And yet how fresh and original has been the mental process! The same substantially in Plato and in the thousands of his scholars; and yet in every single instance there has been all the enthusiasm, all the stimulation all the ebullient flow of life and feeling that attends the discovery of a new continent or a new star.
'Then feels he like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortes, when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific, and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise,
Silent, upon a peak of Darien.'—Dr. G. Campbell Morgan
(Neh. 8. 8; Job. 13. 1; 32. 8; Acts 20. 27).